Electing mayors and council chairpersons through a popular vote is a good system which has brought about dignity and sanity to those offices even though mayors and council chairpersons are still figureheads without executive authority.
As such, the new electoral system needs to be maintained. It maybe costly for aspiring candidates to campaign throughout the district during elections especially independent candidates but the advantages outweigh disadvantages.
As opposed to the old system whereby mayors and council chairpersons were elected annually by councillors, current mayors and council chairpersons appear to be more answerable to the electorates in the entire district than to councillors alone some of whom used to unnecessarily and on flimsy allegations threaten mayors and council chairpersons with impeachment.
Simply put! Elections under the old system were holistically compromised and also more expensive to conduct than the new system is.
We need to make progress on this issue once and for all. It appears some Members of Parliament are unsettled by the fact that mayors and council chairpersons who are employed on full time basis with councils may pose serious competition against them in future elections.
But we must not be too personal because political leadership is totally transitional.
In the same vein, I would like to implore the Minister of Local Government and Housing Vincent Mwale to consider improving conditions of service for deputy mayors as well as councillors so that they correlate with their important roles.
Former Chingola Mayor